No place for Trump racism on Isle of Lewis or in Woody Guthrie’s songbook – Brian Wilson

Woody Guthrie sang about the racism of the current US President's father Fred (Picture: AP)
Woody Guthrie sang about the racism of the current US President's father Fred (Picture: AP)
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It is to the eternal credit of the Isle of Lewis that it has shown not the slightest interest in acknowledging, far less exploiting, the exceptionally close familial links with Donald Trump.

One can only wish that same sense of discernment had occurred to his over-eager political facilitators at Menie Sands, with local people trampled into the rough. And credit to Robert Gordon University for ditching him as an honorary graduand four years ago.

There is no Trump Trail in Lewis and never will be. I suspect it would have been rather different in Ireland, no matter how villainous the individual, if a fraction of the same connection could have been established.

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The key to Trump and the vile racism that is now laid bare for the world to see lies not in his mother but in his father. For decades, Fred Trump pretended to be of Swedish rather than German extraction, while rubbing shoulders with the American far-right.

As late as the 1980s Donald Trump biography, The Art of the Deal, the “Swedish” lie was maintained.

However, the dad’s inherent racism had been chronicled by an unlikely witness. Woody Guthrie, the great American balladeer of the 20th century, was one of his tenants and wrote a song:

‘I suppose that Old Man Trump knows just how much racial hate

He stirred up in that bloodpot of human hearts

When he drawed that color line

Here at his 1800 Family Project’

Like father, like son. They both knew their markets.

The current Trump’s numbers people will have decided he is on a winner – the more racist, the more electable.

The truly frightening thought is that they might be right.